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Al Hrabosky – 1973 Topps #153

Alan Thomas “Al” Hrabosky(born July 21, 1949) is a former Major League Baseball player from 1970-1982 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves and is currently the color commentator on Cardinals regular season broadcasts on FSN Midwest. He also owns Al Hrabosky’s Ballpark Saloon, which is located right across the steet from Busch Stadium. Hrabosky’s nickname is The Mad Hungarian because of his unusual last name and colorful character. Hrabosky became a fan favorite for his antics on the mound. Between each pitch he would turn his back to the batter, walk towards second base, vigorously rub the ball between his palms several times, take a deep breath, and pound the ball into his mitt. He would then storm back to the mound, staring down the batter. Although the crowd would roar in delight, most batters were not fond of the pitcher’s routine. Hrabosky’s best year was 1975 when he led the National League in saves with 22 (a career best) en route to winning the Sporting News “NL Fireman of the Year” award. After eight seasons in St. Louis, the Cardinals traded Hrabosky to the Kansas City Royals. Following just two years with the Royals, he was released and signed with the Atlanta Braves. During his time with the Braves he saw diminished playing time and recorded just seven saves over three seasons. Hrabosky signed with the Chicago White Sox during Spring Training in 1983 but retired before the season began. In 13 seasons he recorded 64 wins, 35 losses, and 97 saves with an ERA of 3.10. Early in his career with the Cardinals, Hrabosky enhanced his menacing appearance with long hair, and a Fu Manchu moustache. However, when Vern Rapp became the Cardinals manager in 1977, Hrabosky had to cut his hair and shave the moustache.

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